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  1. Abstract

    Failures within water distribution systems are usually not isolated and tend to propagate to corresponding transportation infrastructure, yet most criticality and resilience analyses of water distribution networks are conducted for the individual water infrastructure without accounting for interdependence. To address this research gap, this study investigates how the critical components identified within water distribution systems may be different when accounting for failure propagation to the transportation road network. In this study, failure propagation is assumed to be based on geospatial interdependence and unidirectional, starting from water distribution network components to transportation network components. A logical interaction network is constructed considering the interdependence between both infrastructures, and multiobjective optimization is used to solve for the critical water distribution components considering: quantity of failures, performance loss, and financial costs. This work presents a modular workflow for water distribution criticality analysis and proposes the Kolmogorov‐Smirnov distance statistic between solution sets as a measure of the significance of interdependency for decision making. Results from the case study suggest that as the magnitude of water infrastructure failure increases beyond a threshold, the interdependency between water distribution and transportation becomes more significant. The difference between identified critical components using only information from water distribution and using both water distribution and transportation is significantly different (with greater than 95% confidence) for the city of Tampa, when more than 40 components fail (are isolated). These results will assist utilities in asset management and strategy assessment, by helping prioritize component repair and better allocate resources for critical interdependent infrastructures.

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  2. Water distribution networks (WDNs) expand their service areas over time. These growth dynamics are poorly understood. One facet of WDNs is that they have loops in general, and closing loops may be a functionally important process for enhancing their robustness and efficiency. We propose a growth model for WDNs that generates networks with loops and is applicable to networks with multiple water sources. We apply the proposed model to four empirical WDNs to show that it produces networks whose structure is similar to that of the empirical WDNs. The comparison between the empirical and modelled WDNs suggests that the empirical WDNs may realize a reasonable balance between cost, efficiency and robustness in terms of the network structure. We also study the design of pipe diameters based on a biological positive feedback mechanism. Specifically, we apply a model inspired by Physarum polycephalum to find moderate positive correlations between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters. The difference between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters suggests that we may be able to improve the performance of WDNs by following organizing principles of biological flow networks. 
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  4. In the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructures to adapt to the rapidly changing natural and social environment, the complexity of the dependencies and interdependencies within critical infrastructure systems need to be fully understood, as they affect various components of risk and lead to cascading failures. Water and road infrastructures are highly co-located but often managed and maintained separately. One important aspect of their interdependence is the impact of vehicle loading on a road on underlying water pipes. The existing studies lack a comprehensive evaluation of this subject and do not consider possible critical failure scenarios. This study constructed finite element models to analyze the responses of buried water pipes to vehicle loads under an array of scenarios, including various loads, pipe materials, pipe dimensions, and possible extreme conditions, such as corrosion in pipes and a sinkhole under the pipe. The results showed negligible impact of heavy trucks on buried water pipes. The pipe deflection under a maximum allowable truck load in the worst condition was still within the allowable range specified in standards such as those from the American Water Works Association. This implies that the impact of heavy vehicles on water pipes may not need to be considered in the context of the interdependency between water and road infrastructures, which leads to a more unidirectional dependency between these two infrastructures. 
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